Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring Stuff

We've been out enjoying the nice spring weather over the last couple of weeks. It's been truly beautiful and we've done our best to make the most of it. I finished my book project a couple of weeks ago and Pam is into the final leg of her school year, so things are winding down after an intense winter.

We had a good year skiing, and both Pam and I enjoyed heading up to the mountains with Elise and various friends. We have purchased a pass for next season and already signed Elise up for 15 weeks of lessons. She did well with her six lessons this year and enjoyed them, so we thought we'd experiment with a longer set next winter and see how it goes.

Here's Elise and I enjoying true spring (summer!) conditions on Blackcomb during the second weekend of May. It was so hot I was skiing in my T-shirt...comfortably. We had a nice time and Elise skied through the Superpipe (a giant half pipe) twice!

Next up was the Squamish Youth Triathlon. A friend of ours put together a team and needed a "swimmer" (the race is a relay), so they called for Elise. We spent a few weeks "training" for the swim, which consisted of two pool lengths (out and back). During these training sessions, we determined that Elise could, in fact, make it out and back, much to every one's relief. Technique was lacking, but her endurance was good.

The morning of the race. We lined up in the gym at the Brennan Park Leisure Centre to sign in.

Elise getting her number marked on her leg and arm.

The team from left to right: Elise, Hazel (the runner) and Aidan (the biker).

Elise waiting in the holding are outside the pool. We thought the volunteers did an amazing job of running so many kids through in such an organized manner.

On the pool deck with her group.

On goes the swim cap. She'd never worn one before.

Lining up in her lane. They sent five kids in each lane and staggered their starts. There was still a a fair number of mid-lane collisions, though. It was a tad chaotic, but I thought the kids managed well for their age. Elise was in the seven and under category, the youngest in the race.

Getting ready to start. Parents lined the side and end of the lanes. It was exciting! I'm sorry to say I don't have any pictures of the actual race, but this is because I was filming it. Elise did well, and actually used the front crawl for about half of the first length. She then tired and reverted to a combination of dog paddling and underwater gliding, her go-to technique.

The team with their medals. This was followed by a bouncy castle session and some face painting. A good time was had by all! Elise wore the medal and her shirt all day, and then again to school on Monday. She is very proud and was mentioned in her school newsletter. She was the only child from Stawamas Elementary (Pam and Elise's school) that entered.

Elise made her second official climb up the Chief's Apron the same weekend. This time we climbed Banana Peel (5.7). It was about seven pitches of low-angle slab climbing, and she did the entire route on her own except for a short, steep crack (about 10 feet). Here she is posing at the base with the rope, which she carried up the approach. It was a hot day!

Pam and Elise on the third pitch. Both are tied to the end of the rope. I go first, set an anchor, and then belay them from above as they climb up to my stance.

A week later, Elise led her first rock climb at Cheakamus Canyon (she pulled the rope behind her and clipped it into the protection points as she climbed). I went first and set all the protection points at close intervals, and then ascended a rope beside her while she climbed in case there was an emergency. She did fine, and was very comfortable on the climb since she'd done it many times before.

Relaxing after the ascent.

Finally, Elise has been getting more adventurous when it comes to writing. Here, she composed a short note to Pam and I. See if you can read it...

I think it reads: "Elise Josie, The wind tells me never give up". Priceless...


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